PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
Digital Access to PN Review
Access the latest issues, plus back issues of PN Review with Exact Editions For PN Review subscribers: access the PN Review digital archive via the Exact Editions app Exactly or the Exact Editions website, you will first need to know your PN Review ID number. read more
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Monthly Carcanet Books
Next Issue Thomas Kinsella in conversation Jeffrey Wainwright comes to grips with St Chad Hsien Min Toh gives us a Korean perspective Iain Bamforth on Lou and Fritz: Sensible Shoes meets Starstruck Judith Bishop on Love and Self-Understanding in an Algorhythmic Age

This poem is taken from PN Review 123, Volume 25 Number 1, September - October 1998.

Four Poems Helen Farish

The Convent Half Hour

That half hour we have it's like
something wild running
to the delicate edge of earshot in months
when light is translucent
as a well-strained jelly.

We live by the clock and the bell but that half hour
lasts longer than the yellow smell of hayfields,
longer than doubt and I suspect
God loves what we call ours
more than what we have named his:

more than hems soaking up matins dew,
more than jams and hand-made cards,
courgettes, pears and the chapel flowers;
more than bread rising, hymn choosing and the worship
so minutely prepared.

Thirty minutes for angels to guard,
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image